Daytona International Speedway track to be repaved in July

Courtesy photo/Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig

DAYTONA BEACH -- NASCAR officials announced Saturday at the Talladega International Speedway that the repaving of Daytona International Speedway will be moved up to July 4, right after the running of the Coke Zero 400, and almost a year ahead of schedule.

"We just can't risk it," said Robin Braig, president of Daytona International Speedway. "It's the Daytona 500. We owe it to NASCAR and our TV partners. We can't risk it again. There was only one window to do it, immediately following the Coke Zero 400. We probably couldn't have done it before July."

NASCAR was embarrassed by the break-up of concrete on the track during February's 52nd annual running of the Daytona 500 that was held up because of necessary patchwork.

A large pothole caused delays during the race won won by Jaime McMurray.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was at DIS's press conference on Saturday morning, said he supported the Daytona track repaving.

"Yeah, I think it's a good choice to put a new surface down," Earnhardt said. "The old surface was a lot of fun but we've had some, it's kind of getting past its prime, I think. The sooner we have the new surface, the quicker we get to the track everyone wants."

This will be only the second repaving of the 2.5-mile trioval that opened in 1959, the last being in 1978. The repaving is expected to cost $20 million and be completed by January.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.